Ongoing Discussions Regarding Long-term Planning of EMSB Students and Infrastructure Requirements

Marlene Jennings, EMSB Trustee
Ms. Marlene Jennings, EMSB Trustee
Montreal - Friday, September 11, 2020

Following the  publication of a number of media reports that speculated on infrastructure projects involving its schools, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) insists on addressing the situation and clarifying specific information.

In compliance with its role and responsibilities, the EMSB regularly participates in formal, as well as informal, discussions with the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur (MEES) and with other school service centres on the Island of Montreal regarding future infrastructure needs. These discussions include investments in the maintenance and renovation of existing buildings, construction of new schools and other challenges associated with demographic changes in Montreal.

Over the last year, the EMSB has held these types of discussions on an exploratory basis with public service members of the MEES along with representatives of the Centre de services scolaire de la Pointe-de-l’Île as well as those of the Centre de services scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys. We want to make it clear that various scenarios involving many existing and projected schools were discussed. Although it was considered, the ideas were never sufficiently feasible nor relevant enough to warrant holding talks with members of the EMSB Long Range Planning Committee or with any of the governing boards of one of our schools.

We reiterate that over and above our statutory obligations, we are dedicated to respecting the role and the work of each one of our governing boards; moreover, we are fully committed to informing and consulting board members, on a formal basis, in the event that a relevant proposal is put forth regarding an existing school, which was not the case in the exchanges described above.

Never again should our school board be forced to accept changes or school transfers as it has been the case in the past. Even if, in this instance, it is not a matter of school transfers, our objective is to attend all discussions that affect our schools and our students in any way, with a strong voice to promote our interests and to advocate for investment requirements in our existing schools.

Furthermore, we will continue to strongly uphold the principle whereby the various MEES criteria and standards related to infrastructures cannot apply as such to English school boards and that transparent and open discussions should always be encouraged.

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